Fast track to a strong future for renewables

CHANGES to planning laws will help the Humber region deal with the growing number of developments related to renewable energy. New planning rules mean the area is better prepared for the often hi-tech and sensitive building projects connected with green energy. But developers must ensure they invest properly in detailed consultation and survey work to help the chances of a new building proposal being successful.

It comes as a new order is rolled out this week relaxing planning requirements in a key development area of Hull. The move will allow outline planning permission to be granted in the city`s new Enterprise Zone covering the eastern docks, which is earmarked for renewables-related business, without developers having to apply for formal council approval.

Mark Dixon, Head of Planning & Development at Rollits said "This, together with other changes to England`s planning laws, such as the National Planning Policy Framework - brought in last week by the Government - will help the Humber`s emerging renewable energy industry.

"The Humber region is far better-geared now, compared to as recently as just two years ago, to handle these new developments. Some of the changes in policy means there is now a presumption in favour of sustainable development.

"This is extremely significant if the region is to become a true centre of renewables and see growth in this industry."

Mark is one of the speakers at the "Renewing The Humber" green energy business conference on May 1, at Hull`s KC Stadium. At the event, companies working in the renewables industry are to receive advice on topics related to the sector`s growth, including innovation, cost-reduction and planning - an issue some businesses say can slow down potential expansion. 

Rollits has extensive renewables knowledge, including working with many Yorkshire landowners on wind farms, helping agricultural clients to maximise the returns offered by wind energy. We also have significant experience in biomass, photovoltaic (PV) technology, combined heat and power plants, hydroelectricity and developments throughout the associated supply chains.

Mark comments "Planning applications relating to renewable energy projects typically need a lot of preparation. The success of a development relates to how much preparatory work has been done before an application is presented to a planning authority.

"Developers have to be very proactive and engage with the public and the most sensitive receptors through consultative processes. The application needs to be `front-loaded` with detailed environmental assessments and surveys, from reports on transport and noise to wildlife and the impact on the landscape.

"This can be expensive and time consuming, but it`s an investment that can really help the chances of planning success."

Posted on: 05/04/2012

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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